Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa is off—according to Costa, it was never even on.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reported Monday that the fight has officially been removed from UFC 284, the upcoming pay-per-view scheduled for Feb. 11 at RAC Arena in Perth. The report came after Costa took to Twitter to respond to Whittaker, who told ‘Submission Radio’ that he signed his contract, despite Costa not signing his yet.
“Guys sending me this,” wrote Costa. “I feel sad for Robert because the UFC didn’t tell him the truth lol, you don’t deserve this. Bro, sorry I won’t fight you in Perth. UFC posting this [Whittaker vs. Costa] just to sell tickets, you need to realize that. They didn’t pay me, I’m out! I’m not joking.”
Guys sending me this, I feel sad for Robert because the UFC didn't tell him the truth lol, you don't deserve this. Bro, sorry I won't fight you in Perth UFC posting this (Robert vs Costa)just to sell tickets, you need to realize that.They didn't pay me, I'm out!I’m not joking pic.twitter.com/J43Z3LVnyq— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) December 19, 2022
Since the UFC announced the fight, ‘Borrachinha’ has said publicly that it was not official, as he and the promotion continued to negotiate a potential new deal. He has one fight left on his current contract, but has refused to sign anything without a significant increase in pay.
If his recent comments are anything to go by, it appears as though the negotiations are not heading in the right direction.
“Great fights is going down due to lack of negotiation skills,” wrote Costa. “They should stop being petty. I wasn’t bluffing.
Great fights is going down due to lack of negotiation skills, they should stop being petty pic.twitter.com/uAfFLnTOdN— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) December 19, 2022
“I think they’re taking it the wrong way, making fighters unhappy with deals isn’t very smart,” wrote Costa. “It’s not only me, I remember: [Francis] Ngannou, [Sean] O’Malley, Mark Hunt, etc.”
I think they're taking it the wrong way, making fighters unhappy with deals isn't very smart. It’s not only ME, I remember: Nagnnu , OMalley , Mark hunt ect— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) December 19, 2022
Okamoto also reported that with Costa out, Whittaker might not remain on UFC 284.
Whittaker returned to the win column with a unanimous decision over Marvin Vettori in his most recent appearance. Prior to that, the ‘Reaper’ fell short to Israel Adesanya again.